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DOE Announces Winners of Fall Geothermal Design Challenge
North Dakota Ag Connection - 01/15/2021

The U.S. Department of Energy's Geothermal Technologies Office announced Thursday the latest winners of the Fall 2020 Geothermal Design Challenge.

Starting in September, teams of graduate and undergraduate students were challenged to use infographics and data visualization to foster understanding of geothermal energy, broadly communicate the benefits of geothermal technologies, and ultimately help overcome key non-technical barriers to geothermal development. Students from across the United States designed powerful, high-quality infographics to illustrate aspects of geothermal energy production, backed by robust technical data and accompanied by communications and outreach strategies to maximize impact.

The winners of the Fall 2020 Geothermal Design Challenge are:

First Place: University of North Dakota, Thermal Vision -- Submission: "Geothermal Applications for the World"

The University of North Dakota team's winning infographic highlights the benefits of eight common uses of geothermal energy: agricultural drying, cooking, greenhouse heating, aquaculture, electricity generation, space heating, snow melting, and bathing and swimming. The infographic offers global context, breaking down each use as a percentage of the total geothermal market. A world map further illustrates the use of geothermal resources around the world.

Second Place: University of California Santa Cruz, Geo Slugs -- Submission: "Green & Unseen: The Future of Geothermal Power"

The Geo Slugs' digital infographic highlights new developments in geothermal energy. It focuses on the components of large and small-scale systems and how each system benefits people, businesses, and the planet through renewable electricity, district heating, and more.

Third Place: Antelope Valley College, Lancaster, Calif. -- Submission: "The Heat Beneath Our Feet"

The Antelope Valley College team infographic highlights geothermal heat pumps as a cost-effective solution for residential heating and cooling.

Through the Geothermal Design Challenge, the Department of Energy inspires students to develop innovative solutions for geothermal energy application challenges while developing career skills to prepare them for the clean energy workforce. By engaging with students not traditionally involved with geothermal, the Department of Energy aims to raise awareness of geothermal resources to communities and the public, thereby broadening the geothermal stakeholder base.

Watch for more on future editions of the student competition.

The Geothermal Design Challenge is led by the U.S. Department of Energy Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy's Geothermal Technologies Office and is administered by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory.

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